Knights Call by Axel Rudi Pell (Steamhammer / SPV Records)
In 1989, guitarist extraordinaire Axel Rudi Pell would release Wild Obsession, his first solo album after his departure from Steeler. Featured within the ranks of his namesake band would be vocalist Charlie Huhn and bassist Volker Krawczak. Huhn would shortly leave to join up with the legendary Foghat, while Volker has remained within the ranks of the Axel Rudi Pell brigade since their inception. And now nearly 30 years later, Axel Rudi Pell has unleashed Knights Call – their 17th glorious magnum opus – and perhaps their ambitious recording to date. Pell has always been strikingly prolific, and songs such as Love’s Holding On from the last year’s The Ballads V compilation clearly signified a creative renaissance was in the making. Knights Call delivers on that promise in a vast and epic way, unveiling 10 brand new selections of hard rockingh artistry that is sure to mesmerize music fanatics all across the world.
Knights Call opens with The Medieval Overture before riding into supersonic gear with the glorious refrains of The Wild And The Young! And the should-be hits keep on arriving, with the triumphant reveries of Wildest Dreams hooking the listener in for the ride of a lifetime. Long Live Rock is the heavy metal anthem for the ages, a dynamic tune showing Pell and company ready to rage into the stratosphere and beyond! The Crusaders Of Doom is one of those epic power ballads that Pell is very well known for, and it’s an infinite standout within the victorious realm of Knights Call.
It’s back to the hard and driven rock, as the instrumental Truth And Lies slams at the listener with a mighty amount of expertise and ferocity. Beyond The Light is another candidate for hard rock ballad of the year, with Pell and his crew uplifting the spirit with a dazzling amount of sheer virtuosity. Slaves On The Run is an exhilarating adventure in strength and tenacity that is absolutely exhilarating to behold. Follow The Sun is a scorching tune that seethes with fire and liberating. And then for the grand finale, we visit the Tower Of Babylon for a sprawling nine-plus minutes of breathtaking heavy metal grandeur!
The adventurers found within Knights Call are musicians reveling in their finest hour, with Axel Rudi Pell at the forefront, delivering inspiring guitar interludes that set the imagination in flight. Vocalist Johnny Gioeli displays a magnetic amount of passion – the Hardline front man and longtime Axel Rudi Pell co-conspirator adding his own thunderous magic and mystique into the proceedings. Ferdy Doernberg thrills the senses with his astounding keyboard work while bassist Volker Krawczak and drummer Bobby Rondinelli make for an unequivocally spellbinding rhythm section. Knights Call is a victorious auditory extravaganza for all, destined to wind up a many a Top Ten List when the year spins to its valiant conclusion!
(Review by Ken Morton)
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